Vroom vroom, motherfucker.
A slight buff to the burn damage on Zarthuzellan’s Archive, but the build is otherwise mostly unchanged. The biggest buff here is the change to MI affixes, which should make farming a good Zarthuzellan’s Archive/Kubacabra Chausses/Chains of Ordas much easier than before.
Hello guys! Long time lurker, first time poster here. Ever since FG came out and brought us the Vanquisher’s set, I’ve been playing around looking for ways to make a fast, but also tanky and viable endgame skater. So without further ado, I present to you the ATV - Aetherfire Templar Vanquisher.
Credits to x1x1x1x2 for his original skater build guide, found here.
Should I Play This Build?
In my opinion, Vanquisher Templar is one of the most fun and unique builds in the game. You should definitely give this build a try if:
- You want to zip around and pretend you’re playing PoE while everybody else is stuck walking
- You want to try a completely new playstyle that’s unlike anything else in the game
- You want your end-game set to be target farmable
- You want to be super tanky while also dishing out tons of damage
- You want to kill the Celestial superbosses by running circles around them
- You want to farm the campaign and dungeons as fast as possible
- You want to cosplay as Indiana Jones (remember to pick up Skinner’s Torch)
On the other hand, this build might not be for you if:
- You want to break Crucible speed records
- You want to delve super deep into SR, like 90+ (I’ll talk more about this later)
- You want a lazy build. This build is very active and requires a ton of mouse movement.
- You are brand new and just starting out with a fresh character. While the Vanquisher’s set does have a fixed drop location, you will need a strong character to be able to farm it first.
Character sheet with permanent buffs (no Ascension). The difference in armor and DA between the character sheet and the Grimtools link is due to crafted armor bonuses and using Survivor’s Ingenuity.
This build revolves around getting enought flat CDR from Vanquisher’s, Zarthuzellan’s Archive, and Tectonic Shift to maintain a 100% uptime on Vire’s Might. This lets us stack multiple Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire instances for massive fire/burn damage at little cost, which allows us to focus primarily on defenses instead.
How it Works:
Vire’s Might usually has a 3.6s cooldown. However, we get flat CDR to Vire’s Might from the Vanquisher’s Set (-0.7s), Vanquisher’s Helm (-0.2s), Zarthuzellan’s Archive (-0.5s), and Tectonic Shift (-1.5s), bringing the base cooldown to 0.7s. On top of that, Zarthuzellan’s Archive rolls 12-18% CDR, which brings the actual cooldown to approximately 0.6s or so. Factoring in travel time and casting animation, and this means that Vire’s Might essentially has no cooldown.
Aetherfire (Imp) is a T1 constellation, notable for being the only devotion proc without a cooldown. With a low proc chance and mediocre damage however, it is usually ignored by most builds. So why do we pick Aetherfire as our primary damage proc then?
In Grim Dawn, binding a proc to a cooldown skill will increase the proc chance significantly. So whereas Aetherfire usually only has a measly 15% proc chance, when bound to Vire’s Might it has a very respectable 51% proc chance instead.
On top of that, Vire’s Might also leaves behind a fire trail thanks to Volcanic Stride. Since this is a modifier to Vire’s Might and not a skill in itself, the flat damage from the fire trail (but not the burn DoT) also shares the 51% chance to proc Aetherfire. Aetherfire is also half fire damage, and we convert a good portion of the aether half into fire as well thanks to the Vanquisher set. This means that we scale Aetherfire way harder than most builds do, thanks to all of the fire/burn damage from our gear.
So what does this all mean? With no cooldown and a 4s duration on Volcanic Stride we can stack lots of fire trails on top of each other, each of which has a separate chance to proc Aetherfire every second. This damage adds up extremely fast, and allows us to melt pretty much anything in the game, especially stationary targets.
We also have excellent survivability thanks to our multiple defense layers. With nearly 15k health, 3k armor, 23% damage absorb from Maiven’s, and overcapped resistances, we are already significantly tankier than the average 10k health crucible build. Not only that, but we also have flat damage absorb from Ascension, reduced target’s damage from Light of Empyrion, and three different circuit breakers (Arcane Will + Healing Rain, Resilience + Giant’s Blood, Serenity). Plus there’s always Mirror and Nullification for those particularly nasty bosses.
I built this character with a focus on survivability and being able to consistently run a solo deathless SR 75. For other purposes (such as farming dungeons), you can choose to focus more on damage instead.
You can use whatever combination of components/augments you prefer to achieve 100% armor absorption and approximately 30% overcap to all resistances. Refer to the Grimtools link above for an example of what that might look like. In the ring/amulet augment slot, you also have a choice between getting OA (Arcane Heart Powder), DA (Forgefire/Irrah’s Soulfire), or both with less damage (Survivor’s Ingenuity).
For crafted gear, try to get stun resistance (Kaylon in Steelcap District) if you are not capped already. Otherwise, craft for armor/pierce resistance instead (Angrim in Devil’s Crossing).
- Vanquisher’s Set - the entire reason why this build exists
- Zarthuzellan’s Archive - the rolls are not too important. If possible, try to get a prefix with physical resistance (Sandstorm, Destroyer’s, Glacial, Thunderstruck) and a suffix with fire damage (of Scorching, of Wildfire, etc.)
- M. Warpfire - +1 Arcanist skills, good fire/burn damage, and an RR proc to boot
- M. Combustion Band - fire/burn damage and another RR proc
- M. Crimson Lotus (Crafted) - +1 Oathkeeper skills, fire/burn damage, and a nice chunk of OA
- M. Volcanum (Crafted) - good fire/burn damage and resistances, but more importantly allows us to hardcap Volcanic Stride
- Serenity (Crafted) - +1 all skills, decent health/resists, and an amazing circuit breaker for emergencies
- M. Menhirian - hardcaps Vire’s Might and Tectonic Shift and provides a nice %armor bonus. Can be replaced if you can find another item with +2 to Vire’s Might (such as an Oathkeeper’s Zarthuzellan’s Archive)
- M. Wyrmbone Handguards (Crafted) - fire/burn damage, health, and a large amount of flat OA. It’s also heavy armor, and comes with a free damage proc. Can be replaced with a pair of Emberguard Gauntlets, although crafting one with as much OA and damage as this will be difficult
- M. Wyrmscale Footguards - OA/DA along with some damage and CC resistance. The absorb proc is nice but nothing special, and these can be replaced with a pair of well-rolled Stoneplate Greaves, preferably with stun resist (e.g. Thunderstruck)
- Kubacabra Chausses - hardcaps Tectonic Shift, is heavy armor, and has pierce resistance, which we are sorely lacking. Rolls are not too important, although the Stonehide prefix is amazing if you can get it. Can be replaced with any pants of your choice as long as you can fix your resistances
- Blazeheart - +1 Oathkeeper skills and nice fire/burn damage. Obtained from a quest, so it’s much easier to get than the other alternatives
- M. Cinderscorn - adds burn damage to Vire’s Might and Judgment, and also gives +2 to Vire’s Might allowing us to replace M. Menhirian in our ring slot
- M. Grim Fate - for Shieldbreakers only. +1 to Shieldbreaker skills makes up for the lost +1 Oathkeeper from the belt slot, and the Thermite Mine AoE and corpse explosion proc are very convenient
Chains of Ordas - for Shieldbreakers only. +1 Demo skills and allows us to achieve 100% aether to fire conversion. The stun resistance also helps to make up for the loss of CC resistance by skipping Conversion. As with the other MIs, the rolls here aren’t too important. Try to get something that will fix your resistances or provide some extra OA
Unlike most fire builds, we completely skip Ulzuin’s Torch and Magi in favor of Imp. Despite being a T1 constellation proc, Aetherfire is comparable in terms of damage (230 Fire, assuming 55% conversion from the Vanquisher set) to an unconverted Meteor (216-265 Fire) and Fissure shard (160-198 Fire). We don’t get as many projectiles or the extra burn damage, but we make up for it by being able to consistently stack several instances of Aetherfire instead. Plus, the excellent devotion returns from Imp means that we can pick up constellations that we otherwise would not be able to reach.
While Imp is our primary offensive devotion, we also have Solael’s Witchblade and Viper for additional fire RR on top of that. Viper’s %RR doesn’t stack with the %RR from Vire’s Might, but it’s still larger (20% vs 12%) and provides decent bonuses while filling out our devotions.
Defensively, we have the usual suite of blue defensive constellations in Sailor’s Guide, Eel, and Solemn Watcher. We also have an active heal in Dryad and two healing procs in Behemoth and Tree of Life, which should be bound to Resilience and Arcane Will, respectively. Not only will this dramatically increase their proc chance, but it will also ensure that our healing procs only happen when we need them to.
Light of Empyrion and Obelisk of Menhir round out our build with great defensive bonuses, along with a very hefty damage reduction proc. If you want more damage instead, you can also replace Light of Empyrion with Magi by using Hawk or some other green devotion as a stepping stone. Alladrah’s Phoenix is also another option to consider here, with its fire/burn damage and very potent absorb proc.
Our devotion progress should look something like what is listed below. The skills listed are what you want to bind when the build is finished. While leveling, you can bind devotions to whatever you have available.
- (+) Blue Crossroads
- (+) Imp (Vire’s Might)
- (+) Red Crossroads
- (+) Viper
- (+) Green Crossroads
- (+) Behemoth (Resilience)
- (+) Solael’s Witchblade (Judgment)
- (-) Green Crossroads
- (-) Red Crossroads
- (+) Sailor’s Guide
- (+) Eel
- (+) Solemn Watcher
- (+) Lion
- (+) Dryad (Callidor’s Tempest)
- (+) Tree of Life (4 pts) (Arcane Will)
- (+) Obelisk of Menhir (3 pts)
(+) Light of Empyrion (Presence of Virtue)
Gameplay & Leveling
The playstyle of this build is very simple. You want to zip through enemies as many times as possible using Vire’s Might to stack Volcanic Stride and Aetherfire damage. Since Vire’s Might has a travel time, the smaller the zip, the better, so long as you manage to get the fire trail underneath them.
As a movement skill, Vire’s Might is pretty great as it’s ground targeted and uses pathing if the distance is short enough, although you may still find yourself getting stuck on corners or walls at times. One caveat however is that if you are hovering over an enemy, you will charge into them instead of through them. This will apply damage from Vire’s Might, but it won’t create a fire trail underneath them which is where most of our damage comes from. For this reason, I recommend binding a key to “Force Move” and holding it down so that you can consistently zip through enemies rather than into them. One trick that you can do if you are playing on Windows is to hold down the bind as you Alt-Tab (or better yet bind Force Move to Alt itself). When you Alt-Tab back into the window, you will remain in Force Move mode until you press the keybind again.
Use Judgment and Callidor’s Tempest to apply RR and DA shred at the beginning of the fight and periodically as they come off of cooldown. As long as your primary circuit breakers (Arcane Will + Healing Rain and Resilience + Giant’s Blood) are available, you can play a bit recklessly since they are almost guaranteed to proc and heal us when we need them to. Nullification should be used liberally to purge debuffs from yourself or buffs from enemies, while Mirror should only be reserved for when you need to facetank a dangerous boss or wait out some cooldowns since we don’t invest many points into it.
In a pinch, you can also kite difficult enemies using Vire’s Might until they die from running through your fire trails. This is a lot slower than stacking fire trails, but it ensures that you rarely get hit, even from highly mobile enemies like Kuba.
For leveling, I highly recommend starting with Arcanist instead of Oathkeeper. Early on, take Callidor’s Tempest and max Inferno. When combined with Wrath of Agrivix, Inferno will deal crazy amounts of burn damage, enough to one shot most enemies and kill bosses in a couple of hits. Make sure to use a weapon + caster offhand so that you can use Enchanted Flint + Flintcore Bolts (craftable at any blacksmith). This will give you a nice boost to your damage from the Burning Weapons aura while also giving you something to do while you wait out your Callidor’s Tempest cooldown.
Later on, once you have Vire’s Might and points into Volcanic Stride and Tectonic Shift, you can level by simply running through enemies and watching them die as they try to chase you through your fire trails. At this point Vire’s Might will still have a bit of a cooldown, but it should be low enough to spam fairly often. Make sure to run Steps of Torment until you get a Zarthuzellan’s Archive that is appropriate to your level.
After that, it’s simply a matter of keeping your resists up and progressing through the story. Below I’ve provided a rough outline of how to distribute your skill points as you level up. The actual level at which you get these skills may vary due to quests that you did/didn’t do up to that point.
- 1-10 - Max out Callidor’s Tempest. Put one point into Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange, Overload, and Inner Focus.
- 10-35 - Respec all but one point in Callidor’s Tempest, using those points to get Wrath of Agrivix and max Inferno. Pick Oathkeeper as your secondary spec, get Vire’s Might, and max Volcanic Stride followed by Tectonic Shift. Put one point into Presence of Virtue, Haven, Resilience, and Arcane Will, and three points into Maiven’s Sphere of Protection.
- 35-50 - Put one point into Summon Guardian of Empyrion and max Celestial Presence, then max Vire’s Might. Put one point into Ascension and Clarity of Purpose.
- 50-70 - Max Inner Focus, Overload, Presence of Virtue, and Maiven’s Sphere of Protection.
- 70-80 - Put at least 5 points into Conversion, more if you feel that you need the extra CC resistance. Put one point into Elemental Balance, Mirror of Ereoctes, Nullification, Mental Alacrity.
- 80-90 - Put one point into Judgment and Heart of Wrath and softcap Crushing Verdict.
- 90-100 - Keep Resilience at 5/10 and distribute any extra points in Elemental Balance or as you prefer. Make sure that the your softcaps are still correct after putting on gear. Crushing Verdict should be capped at 12/12 and Inner Focus should be capped at an even level (odd levels past 12 don’t grant additional %OA).
For attribute points, you can either choose to max out Physique or Spirit while putting enough points in the other attributes to wear your gear. For most players, I would recommend maxing Physique so that you can have enough survivability to zip through enemies without worrying about damage. More experienced players may opt to max Spirit however, which will boost your fire and burn damage significantly at the cost of HP and DA. Maxing Spirit is only really worthwhile for Templars, due to the extra % Spirit bonus from Inner Focus. Shieldbreakers should almost always max Physique instead.
Faction choices don’t particularly matter, so I would recommend helping Outcast/Barrowholm and picking your choice between Kymon’s Chosen and The Order of Death’s Vigil. Kymon’s Chosen does have some fire/burn augments and gear that can help you as you level up, though we won’t be using them in the final build.
This build can kill every Nemesis and superboss in the game deathless, with the exception of Crate of Entertainment since we can’t stop ourselves from killing the crates. As a general rule, you want 3.1k+ DA to avoid being crit and enough resistance overcap to deal with their RR. Also keep in mind that most superbosses have an enrage at 50% health, so pay close attention to their health and be extra careful when they are low.
Rashalga, the Mad QueenWith Rashalga, it's mostly about knowing how to fight her. The main thing to worry about is the big red aura (see below) which heals her and shoots out spikes like crazy while she's under a fire trail. It lasts 5s, and she will only ever use it while you are in melee range or close to melee range, so you can bait it out. Afterwards, you have a ~7s window where you are free to drop CT/Judgment and lay down some fire trails (make sure to pay attention to mutators though, particularly those that grant enemies CDR). I find it helps to keep count in your head so you can know roughly when to engage without having to get close to look at her. If you are feeling particularly brave, you can also purge the buff off of her using Nullification.
You can also kite her Cally/Rav style and keep your distance, which will take a lot longer but is also much safer. If you plan on doing it that way, you should swap out Aetherfire with Eldritch Fire before the fight for more RR while kiting. She rarely shows up in SR, but you can always hover over the boss icons on the minimap to see if she’s there or not.
You don’t really need to change any gear for this fight, but if you want to play it safe you can always swap out M. Volcanum for M. Mark of Divinity which should prevent you from getting shotgunned by the aura projectiles.
LokarrLokarr is barely even a superboss, and closer to Nemesis level if you ask me. As long as you have 70+ overcap in your Fire and Lightning resistances, you can just zip through him without having to kite. No other build changes are necessary to fight him. While not as applicable for us, in general you want to fight Lokarr with a wall behind you so that his fire spikes don't come back to hit you twice.
Avatar of MogdrogenMogdrogen is similar to Lokarr in that the fight is super easy as long as we have the resistances. In this case, you want at least 80+ overcap in Lightning and capped stun resistance. With 34 million health though, he takes a lot longer to kill. His pets don't do anything except die to your fire trails, and he isn't super fast so you can always zip out if you need to. No other build changes are necessary to fight him.
RavagerRavager runs like a jackrabbit and hits like an 18-wheeler. This is a fight where we will be kiting most of the time, so make sure to bind Solael's Witchblade to Vire's Might. Although you might be able to go toe-to-toe with him for the first 50% of his health, once he is enraged you don't want to be taking hits from him anymore. Switching out gear for physical resistance will also help a lot in this fight, as will overcapping your resistances. Refer to Grimtools to see what damage types your version of Ravager deals.
For this fight, we will be taking advantage of the terrain. Pull Ravager towards the tree indicated in the figure below with red arrows, and kite him around it. Make sure to move in the opposite direction that he is moving so that he is always running in your fire trails. Since he is super fast, we won’t have time to stack more than one at a time. As long as you keep him away from you and running around the tree however, he should go down pretty quick. If you need to heal or wait out some cooldowns, use the green arrows to run away and he will leash back to the ritual site.
Callagadra, Scion of the SandsCallagadra is similar to Ravager, in that she's big, mean, and hits like a truck. And just like Ravager, we will be using the terrain to our advantage in this fight. Bind Solael's Witchblade to Vire's Might and make sure that your Pierce and Bleeding Resistances are overcapped by at least 60%. Physical resistance is also very useful in this fight.
The Korvan Sands are large and open, making it easy to kite her. You want to drag her to one of these three rock formations and zip around it while your fire trail does its thing. She’s not as fast as Ravager and often stops to cast her tornadoes, so there will be lots of times in this fight where you can stack up a part of the path with two or three fire trails to burn her down faster. If there are too many tornadoes near the rock that you are circling around, move to a different rock formation.
Even enraged, she can’t ever catch up to us so if you need a breather just run away until you are ready to re-engage. Unlike Ravager however, she has no leash and will follow you to the depths of hell itself, or at least back to the Conclave.
All runs were done deathless and without the use of any consumables other than Tonic of Mending. I’m not the best pilot in the world, but these videos should give you an idea of what to do for each of their respective fights.
SR 80 #2
Ravager of Minds (Elite)
Callagadra, Scion of the Sands
Q: Why Templar? Can I pick another class instead?
A: Templar gets the highest OA from the skill tree, CC resistance, and free RR to Callidor’s Tempest. On top of that, Arcanist provides some very useful “tools” in the form of Nullification and Mirror that can help us get around difficult enemies. Other classes can get a similar amount of flat OA, but there is no substitute for the %OA from Inner Focus. Since we get so much free crit damage from Divine Mandate and Elemental Balance, any loss in OA really hurts our damage output.
If you want to play this build as another class however, my recommendation would be Shieldbreaker. See the Build Explanation section for an example. With Blast Shield, Flame Touched, and Thermite Mines/BWC, you would be trading some defense and OA for massive damage and resist reduction. If you aren’t interested in pushing high SR, this variant would be ideal for speedfarming totems and dungeons.
Classes other than Templar and Shieldbreaker can work, but it’s not recommended since you would no longer have a free source of “X reduced target’s resistances” in your mastery. You could make up for it by taking Rhowan’s Crown or Revenant on the devotion tree, but doing so will likely cause you to miss some of the T3 devotions which would in turn cause your survivability to drop significantly. Other classes also lack a circuit breaker-type ability like Arcane Will or Blast Shield to bind to Tree of Life, which makes the Healing Rain proc significantly worse.
To summarize, pick Templar for tankiness and Shieldbreaker for damage. Other class combinations are, for the most part, just worse versions of these two.
Q: Do I really need to hardcap Vire’s Might and all of its modifiers?
A: No, but it’s highly recommended that you hardcap at least Vire’s Might and Volcanic Stride, since that is where most of our damage comes from. Tectonic Shift is less important since it has breakpoints at levels 12/15/18/22. Getting 18 points instead of 22 points means an increase of less than 0.1s cooldown, which is almost unnoticeable most of the time. For this reason, Kubacabra Chausses and M. Menhirian can be replaced (although they provide other good bonuses for their slots as well).
Q: Why not invest into CDR for more uptime on Mirror/Ascension?
A: Because that’s an entirely different build with different devotion routes (Aeon’s) and items (Bloodlord’s Vengeance). This build is tanky enough that we rarely ever need to use our defensive cooldowns anyways. Personal preference matters though, and you can, for example, put extra skill points into Mirror to reduce its cooldown.
Q: In the beginning you said you would talk about why this build can’t handle SR 90+. Well it’s the end of the guide now, so what’s the reason?
A: It’s not that this build can’t handle SR 90+. It’s moreso that this build is not ideal for running SR from a mechanics perspective. Most SR builds can facetank the bosses with a combination of high defense, high damage + lifesteal, or both. This build has to move around to do damage however, which makes things tricky. Not only does this increase the chance of pulling multiple bosses at once, but many bosses also have mechanics that make kiting difficult.
For example, Moose and Benny are probably two of the easiest bosses for most builds. They don’t hit hard and can be easily facetanked. For this build however, the ice crystals and exploding chaos crystals make it a living hell to zip around, not to mention Benny throwing you in jail every few seconds. Likewise, Valdaran is a pushoever for most builds, but since we run around a lot he uses his teleport to throw us off course, sometimes into the middle of a bunch of other nemesis mobs.
Ironically, it’s enemies like Grava and Aleks that are easy, since they always follow us through the fire trail and we never get hit by their big anti-facetank attacks. However, as a whole I would say the SR bosses are harder to deal with for this build than for most, and a bad combination of bosses is way more likely.
On a related note, this build will pretty much never fail an SR run outright due to the ridiculous amount of time we accumulate during the first three shards. If you watch the first SR80 video above, you can see that I start the boss fight with over 15 minutes on the timer. Thanks to our mobility, we can tag nearly every mob on the map with the fire trail from Volcanic Stride without getting hit too often. We skip all bosses and healer packs and kill trash until the bar is full, at which point every mob that we tagged with Volcanic Stride gets added to our kill streak. It’s pretty common to see kill streaks of 100+ every shard when using this method.
Credits & Changelog
Once again thanks to x1x1x1x2 for making the original build guide, and thanks to Crate for making the Vanquisher set and this game. Definitely the most fun I’ve had playing an ARPG in a while.
- 01/16/20 - Added guides/video for superbosses, updated build and devotions slightly
- 01/27/20 - Rewrote some sections and changed section format to use detail tags.
- 01/29/20 - Added a brief section for attributes, augments, and faction choices.
- 02/03/20 - Added a bit of information about Force Move in the Gameplay section.
- 02/06/20 - Added a section for Rashalga, the Mad Queen under Superbosses.
- 02/18/20 - Added a Shieldbreaker variant to the Grimtools link and some explanation about the gear choices.
- 02/27/20 - Updated for 22.214.171.124.
- 03/14/20 - Updated for 126.96.36.199.
- 04/08/20 - Added Shieldbreaker tag. Expanded the FAQs a bit regarding other class combinations.
- 06/05/20 - Updated for 188.8.131.52.